The Highland Hotel

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The Hollies’ Highland offering is a month further along in its refurbishment (3 months in total).  The windows are now fitted, most of the insulation and wall boarding is now completed, the chimneys have been swept and new beams fitted.  Now, planning is in progress for underfloor heating throughout, further discussions with interior designers and the fitting of bathroom suites, to name only a few!

Despite the hectic scheduling of a refurbishment, time for expanding our knowledge of the community and the variety of activities and attractions around Muckrach Lodge, still has to go on.  (Well somebody has to do it!)  During April, we discovered so many more reasons to come to the enchanting Highlands of Scotland, particularly the Cairngorm National Park and the Spey valley.  So many choices, on top of enjoying your stay at our 4 star country house hotel with delicious fresh, homemade food!

We were invited along to Strathspey Steam railway  for an opportunity to find out more about the heritage railway.  Only minutes from the hotel and operates 10 miles of preserved railway from Aviemore to Broomhill (known as Glenbogle to those familiar with BBC’s Monarch of the Glen) via Boat of Garten. They are gradually extending the line, with the help of fundraising, to Grantown on Spey. Its a magical experince for the whole family, enjoying beautiful countryside along the river Spey, whilst nibbling afternoon tea.

On the same day we spent several hours with Philippa Grant, wife of Johnnie Grant, whose family have owned 1000’s of acres at Rothiemurchus for over 450 years.  Several hours of Philippa’s valubale time, left us amazed at just how much there is to offer in a beautiful part of the Cairngorms, set aside Aviemore.  Natural beauty, wildlife, activities (clay shooting, fishing, cycling, quad trekking & 4×4 off roading) and fabulous food offerings; a haven to lose yourself in, only 15 minutes from the hotel.

Loch an Eilean for tranqulity

Clay shooting for exhileration

A meeting in Mortimer’s in Grantown on Spey enlightened my knowledge of salmon fishing and the fishing rights on the Spey and Dulnain.  To discover that there are 2 fishing pools on the the river Dulnain right in front of the hotel, was very exciting.  With a licence for a day or a week, with or without the hire of a ghillie, you can enjoy fly fishing right next to the hotel from April to September.  The ghillies are fabulous characters, full of fun and knowledge with a passion for their sport.

Golfers have many choices within a few miles of Muckrach Lodge hotel (12 courses in total in the Cairgorm National Park); the famous James Braid designed course at Boat of Garten Golf Club is only 10 minutes away and Carrbridge Golf Club‘s 9 holes offer fabulous views, especially from the 7th hole.  Grantown on Spey Golf Club with its spectacular mountain scenery is also only minutes away from the hotel.

The wildlife lovers amongst you can enjoy a plethora of sightings; from red squirrels to Highland cattle and osprey to capercaillie.  The RSPB centre at Loch Garten enjoys the return of a breeding pair of osprey to the same nest each year, attracting over 35,000 visitors every year.  The hide is set up with screens with live feeds from the nest and telescopes focussed on the birds of prey throughout the day.  Despite, fighting the urge to be interested in bird watching (for me, it is a method of admitting to middle age), I actually found myself drawn into the osprey story.

Thrill seekers can endure rock climbing, gorge walking, skiing, kyaking, white-water rafting and so much more.  Craggan Outdoors, an activity centre brimming with adrenalin-led options is only 2 miles away from Muckrach.  Craggan Outdoors offer easy access to fun and challenging activities to enjoy as a family, a corporate group or as a couple.

Of course, if enjoying breath-taking scenery and inhaling pure air is your preference, whilst enjoying a little bit of comfort, luxury and friendliness from your chosen hotel, then this is also acceptable!

So many reasons…….

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